After taking a critical look at security challenges ravaging the country, a professional economist, Dr Felix Amieye-Ofori, has suggested that economic development will continue to elude Nigeria if the situation is not urgently addressed.
Presenting a paper at this year’s virtual induction and national conference of Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria (ICEN), Amieye-Ofori noted that activities of Fulani cattle herdsmen and bandits in Northern Nigeria, as well as Niger Delta militants, will not allow the country to thrive economically.
His paper was entitled “The role of Professional Chartered Economists in Nation Building”.
According to him, ‘for ten years, the Nigerian authorities have engaged the terror group Boko Haram in the North East without making much headway. After what appeared to be some success in 2015 and 2016, there was a resurgence of Boko Haram violence in 2017.
‘This worsened with the emergence of Islamic State in West Africa and in more recent times, banditry and kidnap gangs all over the northern Nigeria region.’
He noted that: ‘The affiliation of Nigerian leaders to identity groups poses a challenge to national security.
‘To solve this, the government must show the will to fight the terrorists and eschew nepotism and ethnic or religious sentiments in the war. It must also deal decisively with corruption.’
The economist, however, said that in spite of the security challenges, professional Chartered economists are better placed to build a progressive country.
To this end, he said economists ‘must as a matter of urgency, see how to engage the federal government on the on-going medium and long term development plans and make its presence and contributions felt.
‘They should set up various teams and Committees on each problem areas to develop well researched papers on each problem area.
‘They should as well collaborate with the academia to encourage innovative economics curricula and researches towards Progressive nation building.’
Also speaking on the occasion, a Chartered Accountant, Dr Kenny Oteje, enumerated the role of Chartered Accountants in Nation building.
Dr Oteje said: ‘Chartered Accountancy not only deal with debit-credit of the accounts, but they play a very important role at a big level in nation building.
‘Chartered Accountants are foundation base of the economy and utilizing the financial expertise, the nation gets right direction in various financial and economy related measures to enhance the decaying Nigeria economy and enhance the economy along with industrial growth.’